Young People Raise Money For Birmingham Christmas Shelter (Updated 19/01/10)

During November last year Roger Wooldridge came to talk to FAITH, our youth group for school yrs 6-9 here at St Francis, about the Birmingham Christmas Shelter (formerly Open Christmas). He talked about his own experience with the project and how he had seen not only the devastation that homelessness can wreak at Christmas time, but also the positive effects that laying on a simple Christmas meal for those who most need it can have.

As a result the young people of FAITH, with the help of FAITHFUL (our youth group for school yrs 10+), decided to make this charity a very special focus for their fundraising efforts over Christmas 2009. Our main activity was to organise a car wash in the Church car park. Slots were offered for three consecutive Sunday mornings, which were immediately filled up with willing parishioners eager to support a very worthy cause. We decided to make the amount of donations discretionary and as it turned out people were very generous to us indeed! The car wash made £106.63 and the young people were out in all weathers to make sure we did the best job we could.

Another initiative was to make and sell Christmas cards. Two very industrious young people from FAITHFUL, having received £5 each to kick start their project, returned £30 to add to the total. In addition, Paul had been looking to allocate some money that was raised at last year’s Sleeping Beauty pantomime, and this took the grand total to well over £300.

Thank you to all those who volunteered their cars for washing, bought Christmas cards and donated money so that we could support the Birmingham Christmas Shelter. The shelter opens on Christmas day every year and feeds hundreds of people on the streets who would otherwise not enjoy a Christmas dinner.


UPDATE: 19th Jan 2010

Excerpt from a letter of thanks received from Birmingham Christmas Shelter…

On behalf of the Trustees […] please accept our sincere thanks for your extremely kind donation […] to our Charity. We had an extremely successful Shelter 2009 with up to 100 guests a day using our services. As well as three hot meals a day, overnight accommodation and showers, we were also able to provide dentistry, hairdressing, massage, chiropody, IT suite and Samaritans. None of this would be possible without the support and kindness of people like yourselves and we are extrememly grateful.

Alison Rees.